Polls Show Yes Vote Could Prevail In Scottish Independence Referendum

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Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

To the surprise of some, polls are indicating that Scotland could become an independent nation as there are predictions, especially on YouGov, that 51% will vote yes.

Pursuant to an agreement between the United Kingdom and the Scottish Parliament both governments after years long negotiations formed the referendum process giving Scots the ability choose between independence and continued allegiance to the UK. A simple question posed on the ballot will most definitely bring profound changes:

“Should Scotland be an independent country?”

On September 18th that question will be answered.

Several weeks ago polls were mostly of the showing that the No vote likely would prevail, but as days draw closer to the referendum date Yes votes are increasing steadily as speakers in Parliament migrated from Not Possible to Possibly, Probably or Definitely.

Irish Times reports that two years prior polls indicated a two to one majority in the No camp. But, the Yes camp contests these numbers as misleading, correctly predicting the increase in the popularity of their cause. In fact handbills and stickers favoring the Yes campaign are becoming increasingly visible in the streets. This can have the effect of showing an increase in momentum though it is not proven as the “No” supporters might be less vocal in expressing their beliefs.

Alex Salmond
Alex Salmond

The leadership of both camps are trying to change the inferences of the polls to their own cause. One aspect is the question of whether Scotland will be better off economically after independence shows a strong majority that Scotland would be worse however the numbers are closing rapidly but most likely will not change.

The No camp has played into this by touting the strength of the pound sterling against either a new Scottish currency or the Euro along with the consequences withdrawal of the economic investments. The yes camp portrayed the No camp’s suggestion as London’s attempt to whip up fear in the minds of voters for issues that are not entirely justified. The Yes camp mostly lead by Scottish Nationalist Party leader Alex Salmond has so far not definitively answered this question but this does not seem to have hurt him in the polling numbers.

Another example is the issue of nuclear weapons on Scottish soil. Polls have shown that Scots are against having such weaponry in Scotland and a nuclear ballistic missile submarine base, as part of the UK’s Three Pronged defense strategy consisting of land based missiles, submarines and aircraft. UK worries the loss of this base could have strategic consequences in its deterrence of the Russian nuclear threat.

Alistair Darling

In a nationally televised debate several weeks ago between Salmond and Alistair Darling, former Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2007 to 2010 who represented the Edinburg West constituency. Darling leads the pro-union Better Together campaign and proposed the loss of this base would cost Scotland 8,000 jobs while Salmond catered the unpopularity of nuclear weaponry by the Scots. While Darling probably was the better of the two in debating skill, the view of most in the population was the Salmond won the debate and the effect helped buoy confidence in the Yes camp, especially in nationalistic terms.

Regardless of the outcome of the referendum what surely is a sign of progress within the UK government toward self-determination in that it largely negotiated the means to hold such. As just a cursory knowledge of past attempts of independence and devolvement have faced with strong resistance and even military force especially noteworthy with regard to the Irish after World War I and to a much lesser degree in British colonial possessions, which have been a source of discomfort in English society.

For a primer on the politics and genesis of the referendum topics may be read HERE.

By Darren Smith


Irish Times

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

34 thoughts on “Polls Show Yes Vote Could Prevail In Scottish Independence Referendum”

  1. @John. In the 19th century NJ had large townships that slowly spun themselves out into smaller municipalities while NYC was converging and consolidating into NYC. There’s no right or wrong answer, secession will tend to follow the political, social and economic interests of the people seceding. Unlike in the Civil War, where the Declarations of the Causes of Secession said ‘slavery, slavery, slavery’ — slavery is over. If Scotland secedes and the Supreme Court of Canada notes a good faith duty on the Canadian government to negotiate with Quebec should Quebec vote ‘Oui’ — well then why can’t the South, pursuant to TX v White, ask for the ‘consent’ necessary to secede? On what basis can the rest of the Union say ‘no’ this time?

  2. Scotland was folded into the UK through marriage, and kept through war. But it has always been a separate country than England, held together by the British Empire. The South is part of the US, and a divided house cannot stand.

    However, I do believe that sometimes borders need to be redrawn between states. For instance, CA may need to divide into different states, although it is unlikely to happen. Urban politics in CA take no account whatsoever of the vast swaths of rural/agricultural land in the state. Ranchers and farmers do not have much representation in Sacramento. Plus, there’s the Water War. The farmers are fit to be tied that CA dumped millions of gallons of water to oxygenate a delta for a bait fish, the smelt, while simultaneously reducing water allocations to some districts to zero. Farm land is drying up. Plus there is a lot of pressure from unsustainable illegal immigration in the state.

    But Southern CA will never give up the resources, including the water that they waste, from Northern CA.

    Policy should to be “inflicted” on ranchers, farmers, and the like. It should be a partnership with a goal of stewardship and conservation of resources.

    1. Karen – Scotland shared a king with England until the Union with England Act about a 100 years later. It all started when James VI of Scotland became James I of England on the death of Elizabeth I.

  3. Karen S,

    “Now they may have a chance to rule themselves.”

    Assuming this potentially impending Scottish secession, do you think there’s a chance for the Confederacy? Is the South gonna do it again? I mean, they made magnificent flags.

  4. Well, this is timely. One of my favorite book series, Outlander, has finally made it into an excellent TV series. Fans have waited 20 years. The first couple of books discuss the rise of the Scottish clans, who would be beaten at Culloden in 1745. The clans would be crushed by a repressive tyrannical government for decades after. Even Tartans and weapons were banned.

    Scotts once fought with everything they had to crown their own king, a Stuart. Now they may have a chance to rule themselves.

  5. Scotland should be independent. The number one reason is Queen. The number two reason is Queen’s offspring. The Scots need to be a true democracy. They can forge treaties to obtain trade and security. They should stay out of the EU currency.

  6. England is flying high on offshore dark international money and it will inevitably collapse onto the Brits as it did when Thatcher waved her (TINA = There is no alternative) democratic dictatorship from the hidden private sector. Scotland would do well to separate now and become a friendly sibling across the well defined border. When the capital flight threatens and assets plunge, Scots will be happy to find themselves distinctively safe from financial subordination and any asset trade-in obligations. Beam em out…Scottie!

  7. Quebec will NEVER come to their senses because French Canadians have no sense, just arrogance.

  8. Where’s Lincoln when you need him?

    He could kill 1 million Scots and teach them a lesson.

    Bangladesh seceded from Pakistan which seceded from India.

    The USSR allowed secession.

    Britain allows secession.

    Does this mean Lincoln was wrong and secession actually was legal and or ethical, moral?

    If we find Lincoln wrong, won’t we also find Marx wrong?

    Will we find that free markets in the private sector without governmental interference will reflect what is desired and correct in the minds of consumers/citizens and create more wealth? Will we find that free markets in the private sector without governmental interference would have corrected/abolished slavery by imposing the boycott and other economic tools?

    Will this realization finally lead to the re-implementation of the literal Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights (without further deleterious amendment), the quintessential form of governance when not perverted, uncorrupted and nullified.

    Things are, until they aren’t.

    Life is funny that way, huh?

  9. Like Quebec, Scotland should come to its senses, accept the many concesions offered or accepted, and stay with the rest of Britain. That is unless it could really throw off the yoke of the IMFlike Russia has done & is trying to do with Ukraine. Then there is Lybia, a relatively sane and upcoming country a few years ago, that dodged the IMF yoke and got decimated by the US, who so carelessly bombed and spread mayhem that the whole of north Africa is reeling from the abandoned US supplied weapons now in the hands of Muslim terrorists. France had to get in there to clean up some of the mess that the US had left. There can be no doubt that the US government is the biggest threat to peace in this world.

  10. There has been a lot of fantasy thrown around by the “yes” vote side but they don’t really seem to have a handle on what will happen if they do “go it alone”. They cannot just join the EU. They cannot keep the pound. They have to set up an entirely new bureaucracy for just about everything. The costs will be enourmous. On the plus side, there are some very wealth men who would like to be king, no I mean, Prime Minster of Scotland and they don’t care what it costs and of course there are the corporations who think they can get a better deal from the Scots heady with INDEPENDENCE. I dont have a dog in this fight but the yes folks seem rather unprepared.

  11. This would be a terrible thing for Europe in general, and for deterrence of a new Russia.

  12. If it weren’t for the Scots, England would not have had a ruler in 1603. I think they will do just fine on their own. Ireland has done okay. And Northern Ireland needs to join Ireland.

  13. My maternal grandfather was from Scotland, via Nova Scotia. So, I can blast Scots w/ impunity. They are great fighters and drinkers.

  14. I hope the Scots go it alone. It won’t be an easy transition, but I think it is the best thing in the long run to be independent.

  15. It would seem the taxes would increase “lots” if they have to field a military. There was safety in being part of UK. Yet, I also know being independent is an admirable goal..but is it practical in today’s political climate. Ukraine is one main example. Why did NATO fail to allow Ukr. into their “family”. SAD.

  16. Who does an independent Scotland expect to defend them..particularly if they remove UK bases?? Really bad thinking!

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